Wise to water in dry winter
by Carl Wilson
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expects a strengthening El Nino to cause a southern storm track and fewer 2009-2010 Front Range mid-winter storms. In these circumstances it won’t be until late winter that the storm track moves north bringing heavier snowstorms and moisture to Front Range landscapes. El Nino is a warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean that influences weather patterns.
During dry winters, pay particular attention to watering the following parts of your landscape:
- Plants installed this past growing season including lawns, perennial flowers, shrubs and trees
- Evergreen trees and shrubs
- Plants in south or southwest exposures
- Plants in windy locations
- Plants backed by masonry that reflects winter sun
- Lawns with a history of winter mite injury
Get out the hose on a sunny day when temperatures are over 40 degrees and use a soaker hose or sprinkler to water at midday. Be sure to allow enough time for standing water to soak in before sunset so surface water does not freeze around plants. Be sure to disconnect the hose from the outside faucet when done to avoid freeze damage to plumbing.
See the Colorado State University Extension fact sheet Fall and Winter Watering No. 7.211 for more information.
Updated Saturday, September 25, 2010